American Design Hot List 2019
Los Angeles, januari.co
Futuristic sci-fi dreamscapes inspire the work of Texas-born, Los Angeles–based designer Blake Wright, and it shows: The first works for his nascent brand Januari are all lacquered blacks and gleaming metals, as much a function of Wright’s expertise (welding, woodworking) as they are his inspirations.
What is American design to you and what excites you about it?
For me, the American design scene has proven that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the United States. It excites me to see that so many American designers have built names for themselves and created successful businesses. As a new designer in his mid-twenties with few industry relationships and almost no formal training, it inspires me to know that some of those successful businesses were started by people like me.
A key aspect of the American design community is its relative youth. Since American design has a shorter history than many countries, the design here takes inspiration from all over the world and all across time. The result is unparalleled creativity and a dynamic blend of styles.
There’s also a great appreciation for craft in the US. From woodworking to welding to stonework and beyond, there are many talented artists pushing the boundaries of their chosen mediums. Anyone following these artists can’t help but be inspired to do the same.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
Over the last year or so, my work has taken a stylistic change that I’m very excited to explore. I’ve been attempting to blend Surrealist art and simplistic functionality. I intend to push my work closer to the logical conclusion of this concept in hopes of establishing my own unique style.
Perhaps equally important, I plan on growing my brand so that this passion of mine can become a sustainable, profitable business. I don’t currently have any ongoing retail partners in the high-end LA market, which is something I intend to change.
I’d also like to introduce a few more affordable objects to sell on my website so that my work can be more accessible.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
Though my work is intended for the contemporary home, most of my inspiration comes from relics of the past and dreams of the future.
I’m inspired by sacred architecture found in ancient sites like the Giza Plateau, the temples of Petra, the Kailasa Temple, and Ancient Rome. Futuristic sci-fi dreamscapes such as Blade Runner, Star Wars, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, are another source of inspiration for me.
I believe that the inspiration that shaped these ancient sites shares an essential core with the inspiration that shapes our dreams of the future. This inspiration has a timeless, mystical nature, as if it’s existed before us and will continue to exist long after we’re gone. Through creative expression, we can unveil pieces of this essence of being, pulling it into our everyday lives as long as we’re bold enough to do so.
SHOP WORK BY JANUARI IN OUR 1STDIBS STOREFRONT!